Today in History August 23 2012
1244 Turks expel the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
1305 Scottish patriot William Wallace is hanged, drawn, beheaded, and quartered in London.
1541 Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.
1711 A British attempt to invade Canada by sea fails.
1775 King George III of England refuses the American colonies' offer of peace and declares them in open rebellion.
1821 After 11 years of war, Spain grants Mexican independence as a constitutional monarchy.
1863 Union batteries cease their first bombardment of Fort Sumter, leaving it a mass of rubble but still unconquered by the Northern besiegers.
1900 Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Massachusetts.
1902 Fanny Farmer, among the first to emphasize the relationship of diet to health, opens her School of Cookery in Boston.
1914 The Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany.
1926 American film star Rudolph Valentino dies, causing world-wide hysteria and a number of suicides.
1927 Immigrant laborers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for a robbery they did not commit. Fifty years later, in 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis establishes a memorial in the victims' honor.
1939 Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland.
1942 German forces begin an assault on the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.
1944 German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1950 Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
Born on August 23
1754 Louis XVI, King of France during the French Revolution who met his fate at the guillotine.
1755 Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy, French geographer.
1883 Jonathan Wainwright, U.S. general who fought against the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines and was forced to surrender.
1898 Albert Claude, biologist who won the 1974 Nobel for his work on the sub-structure of the cell. He never graduated from high school.
1912 Gene Kelly, dancer, choreographer and actor.
1931 H.O. Smith, molecular biologist credited with helping 'open the door' on genetic engineering.
1934 Sonny (Christian) Jurgensen, professional football player and sports announcer.